Lines written after the death of my father

When I looked into your face

When I looked into your face,
I saw a waxy stillness that gave nothing back.
A grey surface I couldn't touch.
There was little enough at times, and now -
An emptiness of expression.
Death seemed to have beaten your face into a shield,
Proof against the arrows of sorrow, illness, wanting to be.

How can a life be lived and given up
Lost in a few struggling hours.

Since that day, the stilled voice echoes
And retreats beneath the skin of experience.
Falling away, losing definition, tied in contradictory strands.
Questions requesting answers,
Words we could never have exchanged.
Suggesting a void that must remain